Wednesday, 31 May 2017

How I met my boyfriend by pure chance

It was one of those days that started with a disgusting poorly made cup of coffee, tired eyes, and I’d woken up late so didn’t have time to wash my hair.

Despite my greasy hair that I’d used half a can of dry shampoo to try and mask the fact I was a hot mess, it turned out to be one of the best days ever. I put my makeup on while on my way to work on the 601 bus. Struggling to hold my compact mirror while using one hand to blend, switch product, and apply mascara. I started work at 9am and my bus pulled into the station at 8.52am – it was half an hour late that morning. After running to work (literally) I was not in the mood for anything.

I’d been at my desk for just over an hour and a half when my editor approached me and asked if I would run over to John Lewis and get some quotes about an event the store was holding. Usually I jump out of my seat when my editor asks me to go out on a job as it’s my favourite part of the job but that day I literally could not be bothered. It had been a stressful night and I just wanted to sit and write with a slighter better made cup of coffee.

I grabbed my bag, sprayed more dry shampoo into my hair, and headed towards John Lewis which is exactly opposite my office. On arrival I met with their press officer and a few other members of staff that were participating in the event. I needed to take a photo for the paper and thought it would look better if there was more people in it. So I asked the press officer to go and find some more people that were taking part in the event to be in the photo.

A couple of minutes later she returned with a dark haired boy who had one of those smiles that just lights up a room (so cliché, so cheesy). I instantly went shy, something that has never happened to me in my entire life. I didn’t want to say something stupid or embarrass myself which I usually couldn’t give a shit about as I tend to embarrass myself on the daily. While I was there taking photos the only thing I said to this dark haired boy was ‘could you move over a little please?’ because his short arse was hidden by someone else in the photo.

I left without saying goodbye, and regretted it instantly. I wanted to speak to him or ask for his number, his name, anything, so badly but didn’t want to come across as unprofessional. At the end of the day I was there to work, not find my next shag.

Back at the office I told the group chat about the boy I'd briefly met at John Lewis and was commanded to use my womanly detective skills to track him down. I emailed the John Lewis press officer and asked her to send me the names of everyone in the photo as I needed it for the paper... she sent them, I found him on Facebook,  and sat there with my finger on the 'add friend' button for a good five minutes. My finger started to ache and I just thought 'fuck it' and pressed down.

We spoke for hours that night. Six months later he gives me back massages without me even having to ask and even plays with my hair now and again. What more could you want?

Written by VavaViolet's Editor Sophie Blackman.


Friday, 26 May 2017

6 signs that you have a shitty boyfriend

He refuses to give you a back massage, has the nerve to cheat on you, or worse he steals your food when you're not looking.

A lot of us have or have had a shitty boyfriend, or if you haven't had one yet you will without a doubt have a shitty boyfriend at some point in your life. My heart goes out to all the women who have had their heart broken because their man refuses to rub their feet or back. 

But in case you haven't realised your boyfriend is a nob yet (despite your What's App group chat constantly telling you) or you want to learn how to spot a useless boyfriend for the future then this is what to look out for:

1. He says stupid shit that ends up hurting your feelings all the time and never thinks before speaking.

2. He's not attentive at all. Now, I don't know about you but I am needy af. I'm a proper diva who likes attention (not all the time I'm rather cat-like in the sense that if my man touches me when I don't want him to I will let him know it). But all jokes aside if he ignores your needs, never ever wants to cuddle, never offers to run you a bath or randomly plays with your hair then he's got to go. 

3. He doesn't support your career, projects or interests. You need basic support from your partner, someone who inspires you and cares about you exceeding in life. He needs to see your work as important as his. If you tell him something that excites you or that you're proud of and he doesn't hype you up then show him where the door is.

4. He purposely tries to piss you off by sending you texts/Snapchats that will annoy you and he knows it will. No one should have to deal with someone who is just blatantly spiteful.

5. He gets jealous of you. I'm not talking about him being jealous of other boys here, this is about him being jealous of you. If he's sour when you're doing well, or moans because you earn more then he's just not supportive.

6. He gets jealous of EVERYTHING! The man who smiled at you in the bookstore, or the male waiter who looked at you for a second too long, if he gets the hump and gets jealous over those tiny little things - he's no good for you.

Written by VavaViolet's Editor Sophie Blackman.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

What's in my current everyday makeup bag

You can find so many exciting things in a girl’s makeup bag from designer makeup to contraception, to one lonely tampon.

My current makeup bag (I have many, too many) is this overly tacky furry leopard print one from Urban Outfitters, which cost me an extortionate amount of £18. I could have bought a similar one from Primark for around £2 but hey ho.

I try my hardest to carry the bare minimum as my bag is already heavier than my own body weight so I am forever taking lipsticks and other shit out at the end of each day. But I always without a doubt have these odd bits on me at all times.

A powder brush and a foundation brush – The two I’m carrying right now are both from Real Techniques and are just simply ace. I can’t fault them what so ever. They apply makeup perfectly, they last forever, and they clean up nicely.

Estee Lauder Double Wear – Now, I rarely carry this with me as it’s quite heavy and isn’t really needed but I do use it every single day. Once applied in the morning it lasts all day right up until I remove my makeup before bed. I never have to touch up my foundation and honestly, it makes life just that little bit easier. 

Collection concealer – Ladies, you all know what magic this is. I’ve never come across anyone who didn’t like this product and I doubt I ever will. As I said I rarely touch up my base makeup but if I need to in an emergency (massive sudden spot syndrome) then I like to have this on me so I can quickly touch up.

Maybelline 24hour powder – I don’t like to spend an arm and a leg on powder because I go through the stuff so quickly thanks to my oily skin. I’m forever patting it all over my face to avoid looking like a bowling ball that’s just been cleaned for so long it shines back at you. This powder is about £7, does the job, and well, is cheap.

Maybelline brow drama and Benefit Cosmetic’s Precisely My Brow – I pretty much always draw my brows on while on the bus or tube as I’m always running out my door in a rush. I use Maybelline Brow Drama to add colour and I merely use the brush on Benefit Cosmetic’s Precisely My Brow (the product itself sucks but the brush is proper decent).

Benefit Cosmetic’s They’re Real mascara – Same as my brows, always applying mascara on the tube and bus – it’s a skill.

Nail glue – An essential for me as my acrylic nails are longer than life so if one breaks (which has only happened once in four years but now I live in fear) I can use this glue to operate and stitch my nail back together.

Bits and bobs – Tweezers, hair clips, hair tie, eyelash curlers, eyelash glue, and god knows what else.

That lonely tampon and contraception – I’m on the pill so obviously, I have to take it every single day otherwise I would indeed become momma Soph. The tampon, well, I don’t really know why that’s in there. I don’t have periods because of my contraception but I suppose it’s best to always have one on you just in case or if one of my friends is in desperate need of one…

Written by VavaViolet's Editor Sophie Blackman.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

We are more likely to give a partner an organ than agree to try something new ‘in the bedroom’

Nearly half of Brits (42%) would move abroad for their partner, and 41% would give an organ, but less than a fifth (16%) would agree to experiment sexually in the bedroom, according to a new study by
The research, which polled 2,000 UK residents in long-term relationships, looked into the ‘gambles’ we are prepared to make, or previously have made, in the name of love.
Just under half (42%) of respondents revealed they would be prepared to change their job, and 34% would face a fear if it allowed their loved one to experience something they always dreamed of. Trying an extreme sport, however, was a no-go for 84% of Brits, suggesting there are some hurdles that even love can’t make us jump over!
Unexpectedly, one in ten love-birds surveyed said they had quit their job to look after their partner’s family and the same quantity had moved abroad.
Looking at the gender split, twice as many men had agreed to greater sexual experimentation for their partner than women (10% versus 5%) and more men had faced a fear for their partner too (40% versus 31% of women).
Furthermore, the study highlighted that more than 93% of couples that gambled something in the name of love have stayed together, and more than one in ten (13%) went on to get engaged or married, (if they weren’t already). A third (33%) said their act of love had made their relationship stronger.
Over half (55%) of respondents said they believed that occasionally moving out of their comfort zone is a good thing, and nine in ten revealed they are ready to take a gamble if it could ultimately make them happier.
Overall, the study emphasised a readiness to gamble when in love, and a high probability that it would pay off.
Harriet Spickets, 27, from Halifax in Yorkshire said: “I was living with my parents in Surrey after finishing uni and my boyfriend moved back to Halifax. Obviously, with us, both working, and more than a 200-mile drive between us it was hard to fit in time together.
“So, after two years of long-distance, we decided that I would leave my job, which I loved, and move up to Halifax so we could be together. We found a house, organised our first mortgage (without having lived together previously) and I found a new job in a similar career path.
“Two years on we’re happier than ever and looking to the future.”

Written by VavaViolet's editor Sophie Blackman.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

'No great story ever started with a salad' VavaViolet fitness writer reveals her weightloss story

Living in a world that constantly reminds us of the standards of how a female should supposedly look is extremely difficult and disheartening at times. We see images of these women deemed “desirable” all over our TV’s, magazines and social media. Of course, seeing these standards so often is going to have an effect on how we see ourselves, and if you can say that at some point you haven’t stood in front of a mirror, poking random bits of flesh and questioning how you are going to lose X amount of weight in X amount of time, well… you’re probably lying.
I had days like that for the majority of my teens and still continue to have days like that now. I’m only human. For years I was unhealthy and at some stages, overweight… perhaps not always so much so that people would label me as “fat”, but enough that I was uncomfortable in tight-fitting clothes and always hated hot summer days where I felt I had to either cover up and face potentially melting and turning into a puddle, or dress for the weather but try and avoid getting too close to my small-framed friends for fear of looking like King Kong (I’m 5ft 11”).
In 2014, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and went backpacking solo in Australia. I was 19 at the time and it was something completely new and different for me, as well as being extremely daunting and nerve-wracking. In prep for my trip to Australia I was desperate to look “bikini ready”, so in between my 40-hour a week shifts at a local pub, I was hitting the gym, sometimes as late (or early) as 2am, and slogging it out on the treadmill for a good hour or so before doing a few squats in hope of getting that Jen Selter booty (Google her if you want to see some serious peachy goodness). Needless to say that within 2 weeks of living in Australia, I had spent far too much money on healthy foods, why is healthy food so much more expensive?! and the hangovers were now keeping me sofa bound rather than going for a morning run along the beach.
Fast forward one year and I was around one stone heavier and two dress sizes bigger than I was upon my arrival. By this point, I actually didn’t want to come home. I find it quite embarrassing to say but it wasn’t because I loved Australia or because of all the amazing people I’d met there, but because I was mortified at the thought of friends and family commenting on how much weight I had gained. That’s sad, right? Obviously, I had to get over it and come home, I was broke and I missed my family far too much to justify staying there any longer.
When I got home my mum was kind enough to get me a gym membership so that I could do some training with her, lose some weight and get my confidence levels back up. 18 months later and I still regularly attend the gym and eat a balanced diet most of the time. Nowadays I feel like a new woman. I feel good, I’m confident and I actually believe that I look good which is RARE!! The photo above is from my heaviest at 99kg in 2014 to my current weight, which to be honest I’m not even sure what it is because scales are not my friend (I’ll explain why another day), but it’s somewhere between 76-79kg. Three years sounds like a long old time but I didn’t begin exercising properly until 18 months ago which is when the real change happened!
I am a firm believer in training in a way that you can have fun and not being restrictive with food. Being fit and healthy is so much more than looking good. Aim to be strong, mentally and physically. Aim to break down stereotypes. Most importantly, aim to do everything for you and only you! Remember, no great story every started with a salad.

Written by VavaViolet Health and Fitness Writer Zhane Alexander.


Friday, 12 May 2017

Things you can do to please your man during sex

Missionary, doggy, cowgirl, repeat. Sex can easily get repetitive and sometimes boring, even with the right person so here are 10 ways that will have you orgasming in no time at all.

There's no shame in it, it happens to us all. Especially if you have been with your partner for a while. But there is always something you can do to spice up your sex life which doesn't involve buying a return ticket to Magaluf, shagging a prostitute, cheating on your partner, or worse just not orgasming at all.  

You don't have to do the following, you can pick and choose, but always discuss with your partner first what things you would like to introduce into your sex life. You know, some men are very funny about their bullocks and would kick you in the face if you put their babies anywhere near your mouth. 

1. Speaking of the bullocks.
Playing with their balls is the absolute bullocks for some men. Licking, sucking, you can even add in some ice cubes to give them some tingling sensation. Just pop the ice cubes in your mouth and use your tongue (lightly) to caress the cubes gently over their balls. Don't leave the ice on their balls for too long - it's quite sensitive down there I've heard.

2. Kama Sutra.
Whether it's a mind-blowing, bed-rattling orgasm you're after or a supersensory, soulful lovemaking session, the little Book of Kama Sutra will guide you to it all. Full of different sex positions that anyone of any shape or any age could do. It's a nice simple way to change things up a bit.

3. Three's not a crowd.
Threesomes don't have to be a crowd. I know a lot of married people who have tested out a threesome to see if it brings any heat to the bedroom. It doesn't work for everyone if you get jealous I wouldn't recommend it at all but if you're both quite laid back people then give it a shot. Just don't do it with a friend... 

4. Introduce some other friends.
Sex toys could be your new best friends. Now ladies, understandably men can sometimes feel intimidated and upset when you ask them if you can use sex toys in the bedroom. They feel like you're replacing them with a dildo, or they're so shit you need some dice to spice things up. But this doesn't have to be the case. Just tell them that you're just curious about sex toys and that you want to do it with them and not by yourself so that they feel included and will be more likely to get excited about it too. I recommend starting with some finger vibrators (little things a man puts on his fingers that make them vibrate while fingering you), some sex dice, and some handcuffs. See how it goes and if you like it you can explore some more. Ann Summers, Love Honey, and even Amazon are great for finding sex toys. 

5. Go to a sex store.
Similar to point four with buying sex toys but sometimes going to a sex store on the side of a motorway or in your local Ann Summers can really inspire you and get your creative juices flowing, along with other juices... Have a browse, buy some bits, or write down in your phone notes what you like.

What do you do to spice up your sex life? Personally, I like to go into sex shops and gather inspiration!


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

An open letter to Kate and Gerry McCann | you owe the world the truth

Kate and Gerry McCann quit smiling at the figure in your bank account and tell the British public and the world the truth. 

In most articles, it is expected that the writer should summarise what the hell they're going on about so that the reader can understand the context behind their words but I'm sure you are all well aware of who Kate and Gerry McCann are. 

On the evening of May 3rd, 2007, Madeleine McCann disappeared from her bed in a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in the Algarve region of Portugal, sparking what one newspaper called "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history". And despite millions of pounds of the taxpayers money being spent her whereabouts remain unknown. In fact, it remains unknown whether she is still alive, whether her parents Kate and Gerry killed her or if she actually was abducted. The toddler went missing while her parents were allegedly dining in a nearby restaurant. Who leaves a toddler and two babies alone? especially in a foreign country?

When Maddie went missing I was 10 years old and my parents wouldn't even leave me home alone while they popped to the newsagents for five minutes. In fact, when I was 11, 12, 13, and 14 years old my parents wouldn't even leave me home alone. Once I was old enough mentally and had a mobile phone they gave me some freedom and I could run around the house naked while they popped to the shops. But sadly for Maddie, this wasn't the case. 

Why am I voicing my opinion now, 10 years on? Because the journalist in me needs to know the answers, as a part of the British public who pays tax and as someone who genuinely hopes Maddie is okay, I and you deserve to have our questioned answered.

The 48 questions that the police asked Kate McCann following the disappearance of her daughter were published in our papers in 2008. The questions were asked after Kate McCann was made a suspect four months after her daughter 'vanished'. FOUR BLOODY MONTHS LATER? Out of the 48 questions, the police asked her she used her right to remain silent and only answered one... ONE? 

Kate and Gerry have always denied that they had any involving in their daughter's disappearance but dear readers, consider the following:

If your child went missing you would do everything in your power to help find her/him. If a police officer asks you a question you would answer it without hesitation, you would assist the authorities as much as you possibly could, you wouldn't answer one question out of 48. 

The detective asked Kate "How much time did you spend searching in the apartment after realising that your daughter Madeleine had disappeared?" she refused to answer. Why would you refuse to answer that? That's key information that she could have told the police to help them solve this famous mystery. 

Silence speaks a thousand words.

In a post written by Kate herself on April 24, 2017, she wrote on "Thankfully, there is an active police investigation to try and find Madeleine and bring her abductor to justice." Abductor? It has never ever been proven that somebody abducted Maddie. There was no evidence suggesting she had been taken what so ever in the police reports that were blasted all over the newspapers. Not even Scotland Yard are 100% sure the little girl was abducted. So how is Kate so sure that it was an abductor? In another post Kate wrote "As a parent of an abducted child", how can she be so certain? Do you know something that you haven't told the authorities, Kate?

The sniffer dogs...

To me personally, this is a massive part of the case. Keela was a crime-scene-investigation (CSI) dog trained to give her handler, Martin Grime, a "passive alert" to the scent of human blood by placing her nose close to the spot, then freezing in that position. Eddie was an enhanced-victim-recovery dog (EVRD) who gave a "bark alert" to the scent of human cadavers, including shortly after the death of the subject, even if the remains were buried, incinerated or in water. He was trained to bark only in response to that scent and not for any other reason.

The only area in which Keela and Eddie gave alerts was apartment 5A - where the McCanns were staying. Both dogs alerted behind the sofa in the living room, and on and under the veranda in the bedroom, Madeleine's parents had used.

The Polícia Judiciária obtained search warrants to search the house the McCanns had rented on Rua das Flores, and the silver Renault Scénic the couple had hired 24 days after Madeleine went missing. The house and grounds were searched on August 2nd. The only alert was from Eddie when he encountered Cuddle Cat (Maddie's cuddly toy), which was lying in the living room; Keela did not give an alert.

The dogs were also used to check out the car the McCanns had hired. Eddie, the cadaver dog, gave an alert outside the McCanns' car and inside the boot (trunk). Keela alerted to the map compartment in the driver's door, which contained the ignition key and key ring. When the key ring was hidden underneath sand in a fire bucket, she alerted again, as she did when the bucket was moved to a different floor of the car park. One or both dogs gave alerts at Cuddle Cat, Kate's clothes and the Bible. The McCanns' lawyer said that, if there was indeed a smell of corpses on Kate's clothes, it could have been caused by her contact with the deceased as a family doctor.

What is worth thinking here, in my opinion, is this: yes Kate is a family doctor, the scent could have been because of that reason but they were on holiday, they were not her work clothes, and by the time the dogs were used a month had passed since Kate had been at work... 

I'm not saying the McCanns are guilty. I'm saying that I THINK they're guilty. 

Why didn't you answer those 48 questions, Kate? Why did the sniffer dogs smell blood and corpse scents in the back of your rented car? Why out of all the places the sniffer dogs went did they only act up near things where Maddie had 100% been (such as in her hotel bedroom and living room)? Why did you wash cuddly cat shortly after your daughter went missing? Why was the scent of blood picked up on cuddly cat by the sniffer dogs? Why did you go jogging and play tennis a mere day after your daughter went missing? Why haven't you been charged with neglect? Why did you leave Maddie alone? Why did you neglect her? Why did you write a book? What has that money been spent on? How can you leave three children unattended in a foreign country? 

Kate, Gerry, why don't you answer these questions?

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